Northern challenger bank B-North strengthens team with five senior hires

By Aisling Finn on Monday 17 May 2021

Alternative LendingDigital Banking

The challenger bank has used a slice of its recent £20m Series A to expand its leadership team.

Northern challenger bank B-North strengthens team with five senior hires
Image source: L-R: Simon Nicholson, Andrea Harrison, Sarah Hewitt, Faye Cromerford and David Travis/B-North

Manchester-based SME banking service B-North has added five new senior members to its team as the world of SME banking continues to heat up.

Small business lender, B-North was founded in 2018 by former Santander and Atom Bank executives and also counts Ron Emerson, founding chairman of the British Business Bank as its chair.

David Travis joins the fintech as company secretary and general counsel after having served as general counsel for tech-advisory and investment firm GP Bullhound and also as joint honorary secretary of Manchester Law Society.

Travis will help the fintech navigate its growth and expansion plans as the challenger continues to assert its position in the business banking world.

Joining alongside Travis is Andrea Harrison, who has been appointed head of financial reporting and control and was previously head of finance as Asset UK and will help B-North better establish its financial framework to help it grow and expand.

Also joining the challenger is Simon Nicholson who steps into the role of risk and compliance manager.

Nicholson previously worked at both RBS and Bank of America in a variety of risk-related roles before making the step over to fintech.

Fay Comerford has been appointed financial crime manager and deputy money laundering reporting manager, working directly with several of her new colleagues.

Comerford has nearly two decades of experience in the financial world, largely gained at the Yorkshire Building Society where she joined the graduate scheme and remained up until recently.

And last, but certainly not least, the last new employee to join B-North is Sarah Hewitt, who will be stepping into the role of credit risk underwriter, helping the bank make crucial lending decisions to support SMEs.

Hewitt started off her career at HSBC, where she stayed for several years, before moving over to Yorkshire Bank and now B-North.

“We have always prided ourselves on building an expert team, and these five new hires are just the latest example of B-North attracting the best and the brightest,” Jonathan Thompson, co-founder and CEO of B-North said.

“There couldn’t be a better time to join the team, as we move through our ‘Series A’ fundraise as well as continue to work with the FCA/PRA to secure a banking license, all while working hard to build the best possible model we can to deliver much-needed support to UK SMEs."

The five new hires come as B-North recently completed a £20m Series A funding round and is also well on its way to securing its full banking licence, the application for which it submitted in October 2019.

As well as using its fresh pot of cash to expand its leadership team, B-North is also deepening its regional connections.

The challenger bank is gearing up to open a series of regional ‘lending pods’, the first of which will open in Manchester later on this year, to help support SMEs and deliver business loans up to ten times faster than the industry standard.

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